Friday, 15 April 2016

Weekly Green Tips #4 - 7 Vegetables everyone can grow

Week 4 - Vegetables you can grow anywhere


Growing your own veg is wonderful as you get the freshest tasting, healthy produce with no food miles and you have no need to use any chemicals so it's great for the environment and you.  But what about people who don't have a garden or an allotment?  Fear not, as I reckon that unless you live in an unheated igloo at the North Pole everyone can grow some veg.



1.  Cress and sprouted seeds

Don't just save growing cress for the kids. Get some damp tissue paper in a small tray/dish, scatter with cress seeds and place somewhere warm. As soon as the seeds start to grow place on a sunny windowsill and turn daily to stop them leaning too much into the light.  Keep the paper damp and hay presto, in a few days you'll be cutting cress to go in your egg sandwiches and salads.  If you enjoy a spring roll packed full of bean sprouts or a nice Chinese stir-fry, what could be nicer than cooking your own home- grown sprouts?  There are various specialist jars and sprouting systems available or at its simplest you can use a large glass jar. 

2.  Herbs and chillies in pots inside

Many herbs will happily grow in a pot on a windowsill and garden centres sell lovely herb pots which you can put them in.  Suitable herbs include chives, parsley, marjoram, oregano and basil.  For herbs that are too big or outgrow the windowsill you can plant them in a pot by the door.  Now you can enjoy fresh herbs in your cooking and on salads.



3.  Small vegetables in pots outside

Various small vegetable will grow quite happily in containers on a patio or by the front door so long as they have light.  Vegetables you might like to try include small round carrots, radishes, potatoes, cherry tomatoes and dwarf French beans. You can also buy specialist seeds for micro-veg meaning that even traditionally larger vegetables are now possible in containers and pots.


4.  Tumbling tomatoes in a hanging basket

Certain tomato plants have been developed that are quite happy to tumble downwards from a hanging basket.  Hang the basket somewhere warm and sunny and make sure you keep it well watered and you'll soon be harvesting your own cherry tomatoes.

5.   Mushrooms

Mushroom kits appeared on the market a few years ago and you don't even need a sunny windowsill for them.  The easy to use kits come with instructions and everything you need to grow your own mushrooms in dark warm place ... just one word of warning - if you have a cat you may want to keep the box away from them.  My cat thought we'd bought him a new litter tray!

Image from Flickr

6.  Cut and come again lettuce in a window box

Whilst your inside window sills may be home to chilli plants and herbs you can grow cut and come again lettuces plants in a window box on the outside sill from late spring to autumn.  Cut and come again, as the name suggests and lettuce plants that you pick by cutting when they are small and they will re-sprout several times for more leaves.  In the shops these are sold as the ridiculously expensive baby salad leaves or mesclun.  And if you have space you can bring the  box inside in winter and they will carry on growing, albeit more slowly.

7.   Veg in the flower bed

Some vegetables are so pretty they will not look out of place in the flower bed.  In fact many public gardens and gardens at national Trust properties do this and it takes ll my will power not to snaffle a few veggies for myself!  Suitable plants include Cavolo Nero, a dark green kale with wonderful dimpled leaves, chard, especially rainbow chard where the stems come in a multitude of colours, purple curly kale (below), globe artichokes and sweetcorn.  For height you could grown runner beans which originally were only grown for their flowers, not their beans.  In fact this is still the case in France where you have to look in the flower section to find runner bean seeds.  Mixing the beans with sweet peas or morning glory adds even more colour without reducing the bean harvest.



So you see - everyone must have somewhere they can grow their own veg even if you have no space for a vegetable garden or you can't get an allotment.  Have you grown vegetables anywhere else unusual that I have missed?



A Green and Rosie Life

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22 comments :

  1. I'm attempting veg this year, but sadly I don't have any window ledges in the house, we actually only have one window in the whole house (the rest are sliding doors) and that is in the kitchen but no ledge

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    1. We are short of ledges here too but I improvise - I am using Moo's cage at the moment which is under a window!

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  2. Last year I needed to reduce my growing area. The area was small, so I built up. I had strawberry plants in hanging baskets. I used grow bags on a two tier planting stand, with the tops of plant tray incubators over the seedings when I needed it. I grew all our salad leaves in there. Plus side was that they were easier to weed and I could sow the seeds, in each grow bag a few weeks apart, for ongoing harvest. It was very efficient.

    Always love the idea of mixing flowers and veg. Like an old potager garden.

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    1. I don't really have any flower beds but in many French public gardens I have visited you'll find veggies included.

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  3. I love to grow my herbs in pots on my patio. Never thought about growing veg in a flower bed! xx

    #PoCoLo

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    1. In France if you want runner bean seeds you have to look in with the flower seeds.

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  4. Ah fantastic! I love growing chillis on the window sill. And I'm looking out for gardening ideas for my son...the trouble being he is a bit anti-veg but mushrooms...he loves mushrooms! This is a great idea, I'll have a look out for a kit #pocolo

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    1. I would think all garden centres would sell the mushroom kits.

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  5. this is awesome :) I really need to grow some mushrooms! That would be awesome :D I'm growing salad mix on my balcony and would love to grow more things.

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  6. Amazing read! Can I ask you about slugs and how to get rid of them without using any pesticide? I have a lot and they killed my potted plants last time. Now that I starting again I need to get rid of them before I replant my veggies outside. #pocolo

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    1. You can trap them under half grapefruit shells after you have eaten the fruit or place crushed eggshells (that you have baked) around tender plants. I think I feel a blog post coming on!

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  7. We have a huge veg patch and last year was the first time I grew loads. It was so rewarding!

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    1. Isn't it just - and it tastes so much better than shop bought.

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  8. Wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing. Appreciate you stopping by the blog.

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  9. I've tried to grow many things, but for whatever reason they never actually grow! I really don't have a green thumb!
    Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo

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  10. I've attempted to grow vegetables previously but have never been one for gardening. Some awesome tips though and I now want to rush off and attempt to grow some mushrooms! Sim xx #WeightLossWednesday

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  11. We've just potted some chilli plants inside with the children which they really enjoyed, I like the idea of tomato hanging baskets too :) thanks for linking up to #memyselfandI

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  12. With the new house I'm hoping we can grow some veg, I've got some seeds that are suitable for pots so we'll give that a go. I want mini m to learn about vegetables & enjoy produce he's help grow. Thanks for joining #memyselfandi

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    1. It is so important children are learnt where veg comes from - good luck with your pots of produce this year.

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  13. I would love to try and grow mushrooms. Although I'd be afraid my cat would get in it too. :( Thanks for sharing on the #WasteLessWednesday Blog Hop!

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